Lower Dungeness River

A moderate 12.6 mile river hike with 1,000 feet of elevation gain amidst lush scenery, moss-draped boulders, and ferns.

getting there

lower trailhead

From US 101 near Sequim Bay State Park, turn west onto Luella Road  and then left onto Palo Alto Road. In 6 miles, turn right onto Forest Road  2880 and then turn left onto Forest Road 2870. In 2.6 miles turn left onto Forest Road 2870-230 and continue 1.5 miles to the trailhead (1,600 ft).

upper trailhead

See Upper Dungeness River route/place.

on the trail

lower dungeness river

13 miles round trip with 2,100 feet of elevation gain to a 2,700 ft high point

Hike the Dungeness Trail starting very close to the river with views of the lush valley floor. Soon the trail starts to ascend to the steep valley walls. In the first couple miles and passes through various stands of cedar, Douglas fir and alder. There are occasionally views of the other side of the Dungeness Valley and even the snowy caps far up to the river headwaters. At the 3.3 miles, reach Three O'clock Ridge. This is a good spot to stop for a snack and enjoy views of the valley bottom, Dirty Face Ridge and Mount Townsend. If you up for a side trip, hike the 0.5 mile and 300 feet of elevation gain to Forest Road 2870 and more views. Head back from here or continue on and reach the Upper Dungeness River trailhead (2,500 ft) at 7.5 miles.

gold creek

14.2 miles round trip with 2,450 feet of elevation gain to a 3,250 ft high point

From the Lower Dungeness trailhead (1,600 ft), hike north for 1.2 miles and then south for 5.9 miles on the Gold Creek  Trail to the Tubal Cain Mine trailhead (3.250 ft).

lower dungeness river & gold creek loop

17.3 mile loop with 2,450 feet of elevation gain to a 3,250 ft high point

Hike either the Lower Dungeness River or Gold Creek. Then walk Forest Road 2860 to the Tubal Cain  Mine trailhead or Upper Dungeness River trailhead, respectively, and loop back to the Lower Dungeness River trailhead.

information for leaders


Please use the Upper Dungeness River route/place for one-way hikes between the Lower and Upper trailheads done in either direction.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 12.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 ft
  • 2,500 ft
  • Green Trails Olympic Mountains East No. 168S
  • Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness
  • Green Trails Tyler Peak No. 136
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Three O'Clock Ridge
  • Lower Dungeness River & Three O'Clock Ridge
  • Gold Creek
  • Lower Dungeness River & Gold Creek Loop

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.